The Folate metabolism:
Folic acid is a critical nutrient and has been raised to a panacea status over the past few years. Adequate amount of folate intake is vital for cell division and homeostasis .Folate plays an essential role as cofactor in nucleic acid synthesis, methionine regeneration, and in the reduction of one-carbon units required for normal metabolism and regulation (Bailey and Gregory 1999,Wagner 1995). Dietary sources and absorption:
Folates cannot be synthesized in our body so they have to be supplemented in the diet. Rich souces of folate include green leafy vegetables, lima beans, legumes, asparagus, broccoli,citrus fruits , yeast extracts and organ meat like liver and kidney. Moderate sources of the Vitamin include bread,potatoes and dairy products which provide a significant contribution to the total folate intake.…show more content… Naturally occurring Folates are not biologically active, they are converted into dihydrofolate (by the enzyme dihydrofolate synthetase) in the liver and into tetrahydrofolate by dihydrofolate reductase;In contrast, folic acid is absorbed two-fold better than folates. Natural food folates are unstable compounds, and the vitamin activity can be lost partially during food processing.
Folate deficiency can be due very low dietary folate intake or impaired folate absorption due to gastrointestinal diseases or genetic defects in the absorption mechanisms which can be termed as functional folate deficiency. “Functional” folate deficiency can be elicited by mutations causing impaired activity of folate processing